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To everything, there is a season…

I’ve always loved this verse, even though I’m not a biblical person. There is a reason it’s so often read at funerals, as it just reminds us how everything in life is this way, things come and go, and we have to be accepting of it. It helps me view events on the farm with perspective, where there is always a lot of coming and  going of all kinds.

It came to mind again to me the other day, as I drove past the location of The Art of Milk dairy. Which has had to close. I’m sad selfishly, because I loved the milk and it was very convenient for me to pick up. But I’m also sad because over the last two years, I’ve gotten to know Art and Nancy Groeneweg, and they are really neat people. So, I am sad for them.


imageHey folks, a treat for today~ a few weeks ago, I posted about being excited to learn that there was a new raw milk dairy near me. The post generated a LOT of discussion, speculation and opinions- more than usual, by far! In retrospect, I realize as some were speculating about the farmer himself, I regret that it didn’t occur to me then, well, why don’t we just ask him?

Art Groeneweg, the owner, happened upon the post, and was watchin’ for me when I pulled up last weekend to buy my milk. We had a great talk, I am endlessly fascinated by the whole subject; from the realities that farming has to change from the “standard way” in order for farmers to keep making a living, to some of his dairy peers thinking he’s gone crazy, to the fact that Art feels his cows are calmer and easier to handle now that they’re not amped up on grain anymore. It’s truly insightful to learn from someone who has a long family history of dairying, who can remember the “old way” it was done, but knows the modern conventions backwards and forwards as well.

Art offered to address some of the comments and questions that came up in the last post. And he promised to answer more questions- but in due time; he’s not a blogging junkie like some of us who read every day!


MilkI have been curious about the raw milk movement for a while. Unpasteurized milk is supposed to bring so many health benefits: enzymes, probiotics, and undamaged vitamins and minerals. It’s thought to aid digestion, and be tolerable for people who have been declared “lactose intolerant.”

It’s been in the back of my mind to try to find a source for it, but I assumed I’d have to drive a long ways to get it, and that would be unsustainable. It would be great if we could milk our ewes, and they could certainly support it. But we aren’t set-up for it, time-wise, or equipment-wise, at this time.

Naturally, I was excited to read in the latest Conservation District newsletter about a brand new raw milk dairy that opened just south of Monroe. It’s called The Art of Milk. Yay! I drove out Saturday to pick up a couple of bottles to try. It’s only a four-minute drive from downtown, and the farm is very well-marked with a gigantic sign that says RAW MILK. They have an espresso-stand style drive-up window for added convenience.


BottleLambsThis year, I had the opportunity to use raw cow’s milk for my homemade milk replacer recipe, rather than store-bought milk or powdered milk replacer. The lambs did extremely well on it. My impression was that they grew better than bottle lambs from all past years; so I wanted to graph it and see if it was true.

It was!


MilkLast year, I had complained to a friend about the cost of lamb milk replacer, and she shared with me her recipe for making it from scratch. She has been raising sheep for many years, and says that this recipe works great for her, grows big lambs, and never causes scours or diarrhea. So I thought I’d give it a try this year.